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More than three-quarters of full-time employees named flexible working hours as their most desirable worker benefit, according to research.

A survey of 10,000 people in the UK, US and Europe found that 77% of workers want to have more flexibility in their hours to have more control over their work/life balance.

The IT and telecoms sectors, in particular, favoured flexible hours, with 81% prioritising it over other benefits.

Overtime pay was also named as a top priority by 79% of employees, due in part to the rising cost of living.

The study, conducted by HR platform Remote, also found that the four-day working week remains an attractive option for workers, with 63% saying it was one of their most desired benefits.

The four-day week has been deployed by a small number of firms in the UK already, notably Atom Bank, which implemented the policy in November 2021.

The challenger bank recently published the findings of an internal study of how the schedule change affected its workers, claiming it boosted both productivity and employee satisfaction.

However, the survey found it to be the fifth-most popular job perk, with 65% of workers opting for an early finish on Fridays over the shorter week.

Miscarriage leave and paid self-care days were also favoured by employees, while remote work from anywhere was the least desired of the ten options with 58%.

Remote’s findings also showed higher levels of productivity among employees who received the most desired benefits.

“Given the increased interest in mental health in recent years, I believe that employees are becoming more aware of the connections between work and their wellbeing,” said psychotherapist Sarah Lee.

“Employee benefits such as flexible working can be another way to value employees or to be more inclusive, it demonstrates an understanding that not everyone has the same commitments or priorities.”

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